Boston's Statik Selektah [click to read] is no stranger to the hustle in the Hip Hop game. Having been on the grind making countless mixtapes with any and every artist worthy of spitting quality lyrics over the microphone (i.e., Nas, G-Unit and Royce Da 5'9"), the New York City transplant is now keeping his eyes on a much bigger prize and hoping to making his name known across the globe as the next generation of heat-making producers who are pushing rap to the next level. Last year's album, Spell My Name Right [click to read], was well received by diehard fans and underground heads across the globe. Will he be able to accomplish a much bigger feat on his newest compilation, Stick 2 The Script?
A majority of the tracks on Statik's second full-length release expose his innate production talents and knack for matching the right beats to the right artists. Much of that success lies in his ability to split his time equally to both well-established rappers as a means to keep older heads interested and as well as the up-and-coming cats who like him, are on the bubble and thereby exposing the general audience to rap's next wave of producers, emcees and deejays. For example, "Live from the Bar" effortlessly combines Statik's guitar-laden sample with "the smoothness" of legendary CL Smooth's vocal delivery and the energetic swagger of the Kidz in the Hall [click to read], a fairly new group that is on the "must-watch list" of many rap fans and critics. Another stellar track that showcase the marriage of old and new is "Talkin' 'Bout You" [click to listen], a nice, soulful jam about Brooklyn's finest ladies. As always, Talib Kweli [click to read] holds it down with his patented flow and gets veritable support from the borough's up-and-coming lyricists, Skyzoo [click to read] and Joell Ortiz [click to read]. Other choice cuts include "Streets of MA," "This is It (Showoff Remix)" (featuring D-Dot, Redman and Black Rob) and "Mr. Popularity" [click to listen] (featuring Consequence).
Nevertheless, in terms of pure mainstream marketability, his songs (for good or bad) still fall short of having the overall appeal beyond those truly educated and in the art of beats and rhymes. Take, for example, "Take it to the Top." Cassidy's "platinum" status does very little to catapult the song to radio-friendly territory, although the other emcees (i.e., Saigon and Termanology) featured do a stellar job of dropping thoughtful rhymes. Also, "On the Marquee" [click to listen] featuring Little Brother [click to read] and Joe Scudda and Chaundon, try to recapture the luster and magic of "Lovin' It" (a certified heater from 9th Wonder) but the track is not as catchy or memorable enough to break into the Top 40/Urban Radio charts.
Some might say that Hip Hop's heyday has come to pass. Statik Selektah, a hardworking deejay-turned-producer is undeterred by such dour news and is laser-focused on making a splash with his sophomore joint, Stick 2 the Script. Chock-full of talented vocalists, old-and-new, the Boston beatsmith drops heavy gems for them to express their skills to the fullest and the new album will satisfy hardcore Hip Hop fans worldwide. Nevertheless, in terms of getting shine on the mainstream tip, he might have to rethink his hard-earned formula in order to accommodate the more radio-friendly folks. As stated earlier, this might not be all that bad in terms of career longevity but one thing's for sure - the future looks really bright for Statik Selektah.